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2018 Point Standings
Final after Sonoma
Rank Driver Points

1 Scott Dixon 678
2 Alexander Rossi 621
3 Will Power 582
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 566
5 Josef Newgarden 560
6 Simon Pagenaud 492
7 Sebastien Bourdais 425
8 Marco Andretti 392
9 Graham Rahal 392
10 James Hinchcliffe 391
11 Takuma Sato 351
12 Ed Jones 343
13 Spencer Pigot 325
14 Zach Veach 313
15 Tony Kanaan 312
16 Charlie Kimball 287
17 Matheus Leist 253
17 Max Chilton 223
19 Jordan King 175
20 Jack Harvey 103
21 Carlos Munoz 95
22 Pietro Fittipaldi 91
23 Santino Ferrucci 66
23 Patricio O'Ward 44
25 Colton Herta 20

Rookie of Year Standings
Not Updated Yet
1. Robert Wickens 391
2. Zach Veach 270
3. Matheus Leist 215
4. Jordan King 126
5. Zachary De Melo 122
6. Jack Harvey 63
7. Rene Binder 61
8. Kyle Kaiser 45
9. Pietro Fittipaldi 41
10. Stefan Wilson 31
11. Santino Ferrucci 18
12. Alfonso Celis Jr. 10

Manufacturer Standings
1. Honda 1365
2. Chevy 1046

Rossi wins pole for Honda GP IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio

by Brian Carroccio
Saturday, July 28, 2018

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Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi

With a lap time of 1:04.68s Alexander Rossi put the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS on pole for tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. It was the fourth career pole for the Nevada City, CA native and third of 2018.

By design, Rossi waited until less than two minutes remained in the Firestone Fast Six before going on track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He knew that his red-sidewall Firestone alternate tires were at their best for him on the first full lap around the 2.258-mile permanent road course.

"For whatever reason, we had a one-lap car on reds, so that was a unique thing that's happened for us this year," Rossi said. "We used it to our advantage. That's the reason we sat there (until late in the Firestone Fast Six). We knew that was where our car was going to be best - one lap, going out."

The Andretti Autosport driver will lead the 24-car field to the green flag in Sunday's 90-lap race (live at 3 p.m. ET, CNBC and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network; same-day encore telecast at 6:30 p.m., NBCSN).

"This one was really special to me," Rossi said. "Honestly, I think road courses have not been my strongest kind of attribute in the rise in the (Verizon) IndyCar Series, for whatever reason. It's something that has been our biggest focus really from the middle of last year.

"To be able to do that here on arguably the hardest road course we go to is a huge thing, and one that there's a big wave of happiness and relief that kind of washed over me when I was told we got pole."

Will Power qualified second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, with a lap of 1:04.8939 (125.263 mph). It marks the eighth time this season that the 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner will start from the front row.

"Yeah, happy with front row," Power said. "Obviously, it's a real track position track. It's difficult to pass and everyone is fast these days, so qualifying means a lot.  Alex just pumped out one really good lap there (to win the pole).

"I thought my lap was really good and then I came in and saw what he did, and that was a solid lap."

Will Power was second, 0.231s behind Rossi. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden, Robert Wickens and Max Chilton rounded out the Firestone Fast Six.

Group 2 went Red early in the session as Sebastian Bourdais put the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda off the track at the keyhole. The Frenchman did not return to the track and will start tomorrow’s race 24th.

Ultimately, Power led the session with a lap of 1:04.993. James Hinchcliffe was an impressive second, with Takuma Sato, Ed Jones, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon completing a Honda 2-6.

With about a minute left in Round 2 qualifying, Hinchcliffe had the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda atop the time sheets. However, the Canadian lost control entering turn 12 and wound up in the tire barrier, losing his fast lap and failing to make the Firestone Fast Six.

Hinchcliffe’s mishap promoted Hunter-Reay to the top of the time sheets. Power, Rossi, Chilton, Newgarden, and Wickens would round out the Fast Six. Series points leader and five-time Mid-Ohio winner Dixon could only manage ninth-place. While we didn’t see exactly what happened, Dixon was none too pleased with Rossi, who he claimed held him up at turn 5 during the session.

In the Firestone Fast Six, the last of three Verizon IndyCar Series knockout qualifying rounds, Rossi waited until less than two minutes remained in the session before taking the track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He turned a single timed lap in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda, but it was good enough to secure Rossi the fourth pole of his career and third this season.

Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi

Will Power qualified second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, with a lap of 1:04.8939 (125.263 mph). It marks the eighth time this season that the 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner will start from the front row.

Row 2 on the grid mirrors the front row by team. Rossi’s teammate at Andretti Autosport, Ryan Hunter-Reay, qualified third in the No. 28 DHL Honda (1:04.9896, 125.078 mph). Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and defending Mid-Ohio winner Josef Newgarden, Power’s teammate, qualified fourth in the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet (1:05.1335, 124.802 mph).

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens qualified fifth in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda (1:05.1747, 124.723 mph). Max Chilton equaled his career-best start by qualifying sixth in the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet (1:06.6172, 122.023 mph), notching the top starting position for first-year Verizon IndyCar Series team Carlin in the process.

Several contenders had their qualifying efforts derailed by incidents during the qualifying rounds. Sebastien Bourdais, the 2014 Mid-Ohio winner, slid into the Turn 2 tire barrier in the first round and will start last on the grid. James Hinchcliffe had just set the fastest lap of Round 2 when he went off track and into the tires in Turn 12. Penalized his two fastest laps in the round, Hinchcliffe will start 10th.

Championship leader Scott Dixon was on a hot lap when the Hinchcliffe incident brought out the red flag and will start ninth. Ohio favorite Graham Rahal was also on a flyer at the same time and settled for seventh on the grid.

Dixon leads Newgarden by 62 points entering Sunday’s 90-lap race. With the bonus point for winning the pole, is 69 points behind in third.

Quotes

Will Power
Will Power

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: SECOND PLACE NOT TOO BAD:
“Yeah, pretty good, yeah happy with front row.  Obviously, it’s a real track position track, it’s difficult to pass and everyone is fast these days, so qualifying means a lot.  Yeah, Alex (Rossi) just pumped out one really good lap there.  I thought my lap was really good and then I came in and saw what he did and that was a solid lap.”

YOU HAVE QUALIFIED IN THE TOP SIX EVERY RACE THIS SEASON.  WHEN YOU FINISH, YOU FINISH UP FRONT.  HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT KNOWING THAT YOU COULD REALLY BE LEADING THE CHAMPIONSHIP WITH SOME LUCK?
“Oh yeah, we are very aware of that.  Every time we finish it’s a great finish.  We always qualify at the front, we are always quick, just got to minimize the DNF’s.  I mean that has just killed us this year.  We should be way up there in the championship, not 90 points behind.  But, going to be real aggressive.  I want to get back in the fight.  Nothing worse than turning up to the last race without being in contention.  So, I’m going to go for it.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4THIT WAS KIND OF A TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE BECAUSE YOU HAVE QUALIFIED ON THE POLE IN THREE OF THE LAST FIVE RACES:
“Yeah, it was a very mixed up day for sure.  We didn’t know how it was going to shake out.  I actually thought maybe we got knocked out in the second round because when a red flag happens like that, you just don’t know exactly where you line into the equation.  Fortunately, we were still sixth, so we got that Fast Six opportunity.  I think we had a Fast Six car, potentially a pole car, but just didn’t get it all put together.  Fourth is a good start for us, it’s not a bad thing, I’m not going to complain, but we did want to be a little bit higher.  Now that we’ve got a good view though we will work on our race car.  I think the Hitachi car has been fast.  We need to make it a little more consistent, but if we find that for tomorrow we are going to be just fine.”

MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6TH:  “It’s been a good weekend for us so far.  Luckily we got to test here last week.  We’ve been pretty confident wiyth having tested. It is so tight in IndyCar.  I was so close to not getting through, and since we only had scuffed reds, so we went early.  With Hinchcliffe’s crash, we made it through to the Firestone Fast Six. It is amazing how qualifying can change your whole weekend.  Qualifying on 13 lap old red tires, I’m pretty happy with that. While where you start certainly doesn’t guarantee where you are going to finish, but qualifying well can help you end with a similar circumstance as where you start.  If we can just keep it clean tomorrow, I will take care of the car the best I can and hopefully we will come through with a great result for Carlin and Gallagher.”

CONOR DALY, NO. 88 HARDING GROUP HARDING RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH“I think we should be super happy with today. We started this weekend from the back because we were trying some things that just didn’t work, but thankfully we were able to go back to the information we were able to gather from the test last week. That just goes to show how important this information gathering experiment is. It would have been really fun to make it into the top-twelve, but it was a really stout group. I’m obviously happy to be where we are, considering where we started. Excited for tomorrow!"

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 TRESIBA CARLIN CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 15TH:

ON HIS QUALIFYING SESSION:
“Yeah, really good job by the No. 59 (Max Chilton) to make it into the top 12 there.  We were just a couple of tenths off, but having come and tested here last week, had we not done that we would have been so much further off after how choppy yesterday’s sessions were with all the reds, all the yellows. Even this morning, just with traffic and I think driver respect has been a topic of conversation at least publicly and probably privately over the last day and a half, getting gaps and things.  So, overall, I’m disappointed with that, but pleased for the No. 59 crew.  It does show the progress that Carlin has been making and continuing to step up each and every time we get to the race track.”

JORDAN KING, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 16TH “It’s a little bit frustrating, only being two-tenths away from advancing! Right from the start of the weekend, I’ve been playing catch up. I’ve not driven here before, some of the other teams have been here testing, so it’s been quite a steep learning curve to get into the car and get fast. Spencer’s been down a good job this weekend so I’ve been learning from him. We put it together in qualifying, maybe there was a little bit of the time left on the table from me just not knowing the circuit that well. It’s a but annoying, but it is what it is!”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 17TH: “WHAT HAPPENED ON YOUR HOT LAP? 
“We are struggling with the…I’m not comfortable with the rear of the car.  So, I can’t get in the corner myself and I keep making mistakes, so, that is my problem. That is what I’m dealing with at the moment.  It is very challenging, which is a good thing, but we haven’t been able to find my comfort zone here. It’s unfortunate it’s not the performance we want to have at Team Penske, but we are going to make the car better for me, I mean downforce more or less it’s just added grip, but at the end of the day it’s about getting into the corner and coming out as quick as possible and unfortunately, we didn’t do that today.”

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 18TH: “I had some difficulty with traffic, having to kind of abort a few laps early in the run. I had to try and get it done on the third lap, which is not ideal on reds. At the end of the day, I think we just had too much understeer to get a solid lap time out of it anyway. We were quick yesterday, so hopefully the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet can be fast again tomorrow.

TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH: “We tried something different. I think we made an improvement, we went quicker than we’ve ever been but it wasn’t quick enough. I think we had a car to start in the top 14 but we missed that by a tenth. We made more than 12 changes to the car between the last session to this session, so it was kind of unknown. Now it’s time to try to figure out what we’re going to do for the race.”

MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST:  “It was a tough qualifying. We need to do better for the race.”

RENE BINDER, NO. 32 HD BELLETS JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23RD "The qualifying started pretty well for us. I was quickly up to pace. Unfortunately we were not able to improve much throughout the rest of the session. One car went off track slightly and kicked up some dust on the track. I was the first car through and picked up some dirt on the tires, which happened during my last lap. We will focus on the race now and move forward tomorrow." 

Qualifying Results

PosCarDriver NameEngineTimeSpeedSession
127Rossi, AlexanderHonda01:04.6802125.677Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
212Power, WillChevy01:04.8939125.263Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
328Hunter-Reay, RyanHonda01:04.9896125.078Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
41Newgarden, JosefChevy01:05.1335124.802Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
56Wickens, Robert (R)Honda01:05.1747124.723Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
659Chilton, MaxChevy01:06.6172122.023Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six
715Rahal, GrahamHonda01:06.1804122.828Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
830Sato, TakumaHonda01:06.3755122.467Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
99Dixon, ScottHonda01:06.4187122.387Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
105Hinchcliffe, JamesHonda01:06.5549122.137Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
1110Jones, EdHonda01:07.0999121.145Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
1226Veach, Zach (R)Honda01:07.2287120.913Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
1398Andretti, MarcoHonda01:05.6353123.848Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
1488Daly, ConorChevy01:05.7260123.677Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
1523Kimball, CharlieChevy01:05.9471123.262Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
1620King, Jordan (R)Chevy01:05.7699123.595Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
1722Pagenaud, SimonChevy01:05.9630123.233Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
1821Pigot, SpencerChevy01:05.8133123.513Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
1914Kanaan, TonyChevy01:06.0520123.067Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
2060Harvey, Jack (R)Honda01:05.9911123.180Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
214Leist, Matheus (R)Chevy01:06.7354121.806Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
2219Fittipaldi, Pietro (R)Honda01:06.2138122.766Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
2332Binder, Rene (R)Chevy01:06.9555121.406Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
2418Bourdais, SebastienHondaNo TimeNo SpeedElimination Round 1 / Group 2

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